Additional information for The Patience Stone, which has a domestic theatrical release set for February 20, 2013. The film is being distributed by Unknown and has not yet been rated. The Patience Stone has a total running time of 102 minutes.
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Somewhere, in Afghanistan or elsewhere, in a country torn apart by a war... A young woman in her thirties watches over her older husband in a decrepit room. He is reduced to the state of a ... See full summary
In Persian folklore, there exists a magic black stone, Syng-e-saboor (the Patience Stone), to which one can confide everything. The stone listens, soaking in all the words, the secrets, the miseries, until it finally explodes, and on that day, one is instantly delivered of all ones sufferings and worries. Some even say this stone is the one in the Kaaba and on the day it explodes, it will be the Apocalypse.
The Patience Stone is an unusual war film, based on the eponymous novel that won the Prix Goncourt 2008, was brilliantly adapted to the screen by author Atiq Rahimi (Earth and Ashes, 2004) himself, in collaboration with his friend, the legendary scenarist, Jean-Claude Carrière (The Unbearable Lightness of Being, 1988, Belle de Jour, 1967, The Mahabarata, 1989, plus 136 more credits on his résumé).In Kabul in ruins, following the retreat of the Soviet occupation forces in 1990, rival bands of mujahidin are fighting like rabid dogs over the remnants of the city. In this apocalyptic world, a man lies comatose on a mattress in a bare room of his house. This warrior of Allah has been decerebrated by a bullet lodged in the back of his neck, not while fighting for his religion or his country, but during a fratricide fight that took place when one of his comrades insulted him. The angry exchange resulted in gunfire, and his serious wound. His wife kneels next to him, fingering her prayer beads, chanting the ninety-nine names of Allah. The mullah instructed her that if she did so, in fifteen days her husband would again be well. But after nearly three weeks, he is still totally unresponsive.The film rolls for only few minutes before we realize that we are far from the Occidental literatures exotic clichés regarding the proud Afghan warrior, honors place at the heart of the traditions, and the countrys beautiful landscape. Although the battle field is limited to a single house, the war is present and overwhelming, with its massacres and its shelling that make the spectator jump in his or her seat. The Patience Stone is, in fact, a war film, taking place in a crepuscular Kabul, whose name is never mentioned, and therefore could be located in any Muslim country, like Syria, for example.While the war rages around her, The Woman (we never learn any of the characters names) is hidden in the house, huddled near the bed, praying, changing her husbands perfusion, cleaning him, and chasing away the flies that enter his open mouth. Her husbands family has fled, leaving her and her two daughters without any resources and protection. During the periodic cease-fires, she ventures outside the house to get water and medication for her husbands perfusion, but the water-carrier and the pharmacist refuse to extend her any more credit. She also visits the home of her last link with her own family, her aunt, who runs a brothel in another part of town. It is here where she eventually leaves her two daughters for safety. Despite the dangers and her fears, she always returns to her house to care for her husband, without really knowing why, letting the days go by at his bedside.But she is now beginning to loose her courage and her devotion is starting to weigh her down. She stops invoking Allahs names. She is still scared of this inert body, but she keeps on talking to him anyway. In his silence, his authority still overwhelms her, even though she does not know if he can hear and understand her. At first, she recalls episodes of her life, including her aborted dreams, her forced marriage to a husband always on the battle front, even on the wedding day, and the day her father sold her sister to an old man to cover her fathers gambling debt. Her voice, timid and hesitating at first, affirms itself. She finally lets bitter words, crazy words, holed up far too long, escape from her inner self. She heckles Allah and his Hell, insults men and their never-ending wars, curses her warrior husband, a hero vanquished by his male pride, his religious obscurantism, his hate of the other, and goes as far as to reveal her most inner thoughts and secrets. Once quietly praying, she now screams. Once living in silence and self-sacrificing abnegation, she now emerges as a human being, a woman. She becomes a symbol, The voice that emerges from my throat, it is the voice buried for thousands of years.Sometimes, though, the shelling and the bullets come too close and The Woman takes refuge in the cellar of the house next door. In one instance, couple of marauding warriors enter her house, and she escapes being raped by telling them that she sells her body as they sell their blood, knowing that they would never touch her, as she is morally unclean according to the Holy books. However, the younger of the two warriors comes back the next day with some money to demand her services. She is devastated, but she must submit. Eventually, the young man, an orphan himself, keeps coming back. She develops feelings for him after learning his story, and of the sadistic mistreatment he suffers at the hands of his commandant. Her nurturing womans instinct takes over, as well as her femininity (and, of course, so does the money he offers her).Eventually, her Patience Stone, full of her pains, sorrows, frustrations, and of her most shameful and unspeakable secrets, explodes: her devastating, magic words have blown up to pieces all the burqas of the World! As The Man wakes up and reaches for her throat, she stabs him with her knife in the stomach. But the man, in a supreme effort, strangles her, liberating her from the marital, social and religious oppressions she has been enduring the whole of her life.But the story itself having some aspects of a fable - we can only guess we are in Afghanistan without it ever being named, the characters have no names other than The Woman and The Man, like some twilight Adam and Eve, Rahimi had to be able to embody this in an image, without denying to the fable the force of realism, and without denying to the real the symbolic sense of a fable. Thus the story ends with a fable-ending: The Womans eyes opens as she says, exulting, I am a Prophet! I just made a miracle!
The Patience Stone
No theatrical release dates have been decided.
This film does not have a selected cast.
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